5 Android Apps You Shouldn’t Miss This Week
Welcome to the 468th edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the big headlines from last week.
- Sony is working on a monitoring app for its Android TVs. The Monitor app works to prevent piracy. It would basically block sideloading of apps known to display pirated content. You can read more at the link, but here I hope it does not interfere with normal page load.
- YouTube is testing live TV with a small subset of its users. It allows you to watch live TV for free with advertising support. The service will compete with Tubi, Pluto TV and Roku. All of these services also offer free live TV. We expect it to be rolled out later this year.
- Google updated its official clock app this week. The new clock app makes it easier to create a custom alarm. It takes a sound straight from the app and gives you the tools to turn it into an alarm sound. It’s not a huge update, but it makes the app more useful.
- Google Podcasts is not doing well. Recently it stopped appearing in Google search results and it is minimized in other areas. A Google spokesperson said these changes are normal. That doesn’t mean good news for Google Podcasts.
- Google Stadia officially died this week. We wrote a eulogy for the service, so we won’t go into great detail here. Google also released a tool to convert a Stadia controller into a regular Bluetooth controller, but warns that it removes Wi-Fi functionality. Click on the links to learn more. Goodbye, Google Stadia.
Dragon Siege: Kingdom Conquest is a kingdom builder with some extra mechanics. Players focus on building a kingdom and then defending it against invaders. There is also the option to build an army and attack with them. The game includes real-time battles, dragons and some other things too. For example, you can also grow food, although it is not a super-intensive activity. It’s been a while since we’ve seen a game like this, and it’s nice to see the genre still evolving.
Price: Free / $2.99 per month / $29.99 one time
One Sec is a digital wellness app that helps you use distracting apps less often. It prompts you to do a short breathing exercise before opening distracting apps. Apparently it helps regulate your use, relieves stress and has other benefits. We only tested it for a few hours, so we may not have seen the long-term benefits, but some people do. You can try it for free, or buy it for $2.99 per month or $29.99 as a one-time payment. We recommend giving it a demo and seeing if it works before you buy anything.
Price: Free to play
Design Diary is a match-three puzzle game. The game contains a bunch of levels for players to get through. Once completed, they unlock items that they can use to decorate their houses in the game. That’s pretty much the gameplay loop. More things unlock the more you play, and you decorate as you like. It’s certainly not the deepest game, but it’s family-friendly, provided you have a password for in-app purchases. It can be played offline as well, a rarity for a free-to-play game.
Myne is a FOSS app that allows you to download e-books from Project GutenBerg. For those unfamiliar, Project GutenBerg is a library of free e-books. Myne allows you to access them in app format. The app also uses Google Books as a source of book data, which is a nice touch. From there it’s pretty easy. You download books from the library, read them, and that’s it. The selection is pretty decent for a completely free collection, and it’s a good source of free reading material. The only downside is that Myne is only available on GitHub, so you have to sideload it.
Price: Free to play
Sort Master is a puzzle game where you move water from one container to another. The goal is to mix the colors and get each container full of water from one color. It’s not a difficult premise, but it increases in difficulty over time. The developer makes the game a bit more relaxing by not giving the player a penalty for mistakes and also allowing unlimited attempts. It’s also a family-friendly game, and we think younger kids in particular will find something like this fun.
If we missed any great Android apps or gaming news, let us know about them in the comments section.
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